Job satisfaction, Nigeria Police.


Studies have it that happiness is the central key to success in any endeavor in life, including that which is one’s vocation or professional field of interest (Chang & Lee, 2007; Lyubomirsky & Diener, 2005). Nowhere else is this more factual and important than in law enforcement profession (Ogunsina, 2011). Job satisfaction has been researched both as a consequence of many individual and work environment characteristics and as an antecedent to many outcomes (Ozbaran, 2010). Therefore, employees who are satisfied with their jobs will be more motivated to perform the necessary tasks, have fewer absences, be more inclined to assist others, and be more likely to commit themselves to the overall goal of the organization (Miller, Mire, & Kim, 2009). The key ingredient that leads to recognition, income, promotion, and the achievement of other goals that leads to a feeling of fulfillment is job satisfaction (Kaliski, 2007).

Relevance of Police Job Satisfaction

An important subject to investigate is job satisfaction (Buzawa et al, 1994) as police officers who experience low level of job satisfaction may continuously seek to quit, retire, or transfer from their jobs. According to Zhao, Thurman, and He (1999) research on job satisfaction among police officers is important because police officers can experience high rates of employee turnover when their job satisfaction is low. Zhao, Thurman, and He (1999) added that this may harm the relationship between the community members and the police while implementing their daily services.

Hoath, Schneider and Starr (1998) suggested some reasons why the subject of job satisfaction is important for police organization: One is that negative worker attitude; including low level of job satisfaction may negatively affect job performance in both quantity and quality of law enforcement services an organization provides. Second, negative police attitudes towards their jobs may adversely affect the views and perceptions the public have about a law enforcement organization and its officers, thereby undermining police – community relations. The third reason listed by (Hoath et al, 1998) on why job satisfaction study is important in police organization is that a police organization has a moral obligation to show concern for its employees and promote work-related attitudes among them. Fourth, job satisfaction promotes lower stress levels and fewer symptoms of stress like absenteeism, burnout, and alcoholism (p.338).

Therefore, research on job satisfaction among police officers may provide vital information for police leadership, educators, and the government (Hoath et al, 1998; Zhao et al, 1999). This study may help police leaderships and managers in Nigeria identify and understand the major determinants of job satisfaction among police officers so as to implement the necessary changes to increase officers’ job satisfaction levels that could help provide better services for the community (Hoath et al, 1998).

Theoretical Framework

The theoretical framework that guided the study was Herzberg’s (1968) Two-Factor theory of job motivation, also known as the motivation-hygiene theory. Herzberg’s Two-Factor Theory, for example focused on what motivates individual or group of individuals in a work environment. In his extensive research after asking some probing questions from the individuals, he was of the view that while some people are dissatisfied in a work environment because of some certain factors, others are satisfied at the same time because of some certain things. The factors causing dissatisfaction of workers he called “hygiene” because workers based their performance in the context of the hygiene factors such as salary, company policies, good working conditions, safety, and security on the job. Herzberg then called the other factors “motivators” because they boosted the worker’s enthusiasms to work harder. Examples of these motivators he named as, growth opportunities, advancement, and increased responsibilities (Herzberg & Mausner, 1959). One unique feature of this theory was that it focused on work environment, thereby concluding that motivators in a work environment are what make people to work harder. Herzberg’s theory is relevant to the study of job satisfaction because it provided it provided an organizational framework for empirically assessing constructs such as worker motivation and job satisfaction (Mire, 2005).

Literature Review

Organizational Correlates of Job Satisfaction

As stated, job satisfaction is affected by several factors, including personality and organizational variables. The present study focused on the impact of organization factors as determinants of job satisfaction such as; the work itself, remunerations/pay, supervision, promotion opportunities, and co-workers. Vroom and Jago (2007), cited in (Luthans, 2007), in his definition of job satisfaction focused on the role of the employee in the workplace. He then goes on to define job satisfaction as affective orientations on the part of individuals toward work roles which they are presently occupying. For this reason, the organizational variables impacting on job satisfaction include; the work itself, remunerations/pay, supervision, promotion opportunities, and co-workers are discussed further below.

The Work Itself

Employee job satisfaction is dependent on satisfaction with the components of the job, such as the work itself (Luthans, 2007). “The extent to which the job provides the individual with stimulating tasks, opportunities for learning and personal growth, and the chance to be responsible and accountable for results” is referred to as the work itself” (Robbins et al, 2003, p.77). Employees prefer jobs that present them with avenues to execute their competencies on a variety of tasks that are mentally challenging Robbins, as cited in (Luthans, 2007). Studies done by Vitell and Davis, as cited in (Luthans, 2007) involving employees of a management information system environment, found a statistically significant relationship between the dimensions of work itself. Furthermore, a finding fromother studies conducted by (Oshagbemi, 2003) suggests that a dimension such as the work itself can result in job dissatisfaction or satisfaction.


Specter, as cited in (Mire, 2005) posits that “the correlation between pay and job satisfaction is surprisingly small (r=.17)”, (p.18). Research regarding the influence of pay on job satisfaction appears to be vague. This view is supported by Bassett, as cited in (Luthans, 2007) who contends that, a lack of empirical evidence exists to indicate that pay alone improves worker satisfaction or reduces dissatisfaction. The author argued that highly paid employees may still be dissatisfied if they do not like the nature of their job and feel they cannot enter a more satisfying job. However, a 2000 study conducted by Oshagbemi amongst United Kingdom academicians, found a statistically significant relationship between pay and rank of employees with their level of job satisfaction (Oshagbemi, 2000). Conversely, a similar study conducted by Robins et al (2003) amongst postdoctoral science researchers, found pay and benefits to be weakly correlated with job satisfaction.


The relationship between supervision and job satisfaction is well documented as studies demonstrate that a positive relationship exists between job satisfaction and supervision (Robbins et al, 2003; Luthans, 2007; Wech, 2002)).The role of supervision in any work environment cannot be over emphasized. Supervision plays a vital role relating to job satisfaction in terms of the ability of the supervisor to provide emotional and technical support and guidance with work-related tasks (Robbins et al., 2003). As stated by Riaz and Haider (2010), supervisors contribute to high or low morale in the workplace. According to Sherman and Bohlander, as cited in (Luthans, 2007) job related complaints can be attributed to supervisor’s attitudes and behaviors towards employees. Wech (2002) supports this view by adding that supervisory behavior strongly affects the degree of trust in relationship with employees, adding that trust may, in turn, have a significant relationship with job satisfaction. Interestingly, A study conducted by Wech (2002) found that employees with supervisors displaying democratic management styles experienced higher levels of job satisfaction compared to those who had supervisors who exhibited autocratic or liassez – faire leadership styles.

Promotion opportunities

A number of researchers have established that job satisfaction is strongly related to opportunities for promotion (Getahum, Sims, & Hummer, 2007; Gilstrap & Collins, 2012). A study conducted by (Gilstrap & Collins, 2012) with municipal government workers where satisfaction with promotional opportunities was found to be positively and significantly related to job satisfaction supports this view. However, (Kung, 2005) stated that the positive relationship between promotion and job satisfaction is dependent on perceived equity by employees.


Several studies supports the theory that having friendly and supportive colleagues contribute to increased job satisfaction (Kung, 2005; Luthans, 1989). Findings of a survey conducted by Kung (2005) on women occupying the most demanding jobs indicated that those participants, who lacked support from co-workers, were more likely to suffer from job dissatisfaction. Another study conducted in the United States among federal employees found a strong relationship between colleagues at work with job satisfaction Ting, as cited in (Luthans, 2007).

Research Hypothesis

The following research hypotheses were formulated and tested in the study:

H1: The work itself does not significantly impact the level of job satisfaction among Nigeria police officers.

H2: Pay/remunerations do not significantly impact the level of job satisfaction among Nigeria police officers.

H3: Promotion opportunity does not impact the level of job satisfaction among Nigeria police officers.

H4: Supervision does not impact the level of job satisfaction among Nigeria police officers.

H5: Co-workers does not impact the level of job satisfaction among Nigeria police officers.

Research Methodology

The research methodology used in the study was quantitative while correlation served as the study design and was used to determine the possible relationship between the five variables linked with organizational factors of job satisfaction, namely; co-workers, opportunity for promotions, pay/remunerations, supervision, and the work itself. The researchers utilized a regression analysis to further determine the possible relationship and the strength between the variables (Sekaran, 2000).The use of a demographic survey allowed the researchers to collect information on different demographic areas such as gender, age, educational, and time at present work of the research participants.

Sample Population/Procedure

The sample for the study was drawn from among the officers of the Nigeria police serving in various states police command in Nigeria. The sample population was 500 out which 437 returned their mail in questionnaires which was found valid for analysis after the three months deadline.


The job satisfaction scale utilized by the researchers was the Abridged Job Descriptive Index (AJDI). This scale was originally introduced in 1969 by Patricia Cain Smith and has been tested for over 40 years and administered by over one thousand organizations. The Abridged Job Descriptive Index has five areas of concentration: Work, Pay, Promotions, Supervision and Coworkers (Neuman, 2003; Hosmer & Lemeshow, 1989; Green & Salkind, 2007). Many organizations have used the Abridged Job Descriptive Index (AJDI) to determine levels of job satisfaction as well as how an individual or group is functioning in a new role or position .The AJDI has been thoroughly examined and updated and demonstrates a strong validity and reliability (Brace et al, 2009).The reliability of the coefficient alphas ranged from .86 to .92 (Mertens, 2010). According to Mertens (2010), the level of coefficient for work was .90, pay was .86, promotions was.87, supervision was .91, and co-workers were also a .91.

Data Collection

Data for the study were collected through mail-surveys so as to protect the identity of study participants. After a rigorous selection process and screening of participants, the researchers mailed out 500 survey package to participants and where given 3 months deadline to return the surveys. At the end of the deadline, only 437 of the surveys were returned and filled properly for analysis representing a 72.8% response rate. Data collected from the demographic survey and the AJDI were entered and computed though the use of a statistical package named Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) (Neuman, 2003; Mertens, 2010).

Results And Discussion

Descriptive Statistics

Survey data were analyzed on 437 participants. Regarding the highest level of education completed (50%) had high school diplomas; (30%) had bachelor’s degrees; and (20%) had master’s degrees. Approximately more than half of the police officers (80.6%) were single; while (19.4%) were married. Relative to duration of employment; (32.7%) had 0-10 years as a police officer; (42.3%) had 11-20 years; and (25%) had 21 and above of service with the police organization.

Table 1

Demographic Variables

Description Percentages
Length of Time as a Police Officer
0-10 years 32.70%
11-20 years 42.30%
21 and above 25.00%
Marital Status
Single 80.60%
Married 19.40%
Education Level
High School Diploma 50.00%
Bachelor’s Degree 30.00%
Master’s Degree 20.00%

Reliability Analysis

The reliability of the variables of interest for the sample was examined with Cronbach’s alpha (Brace et al, 2009). The reliability coefficients ranged from 0.74 for “the work itself”, 0.78 for “remunerations/pay”, 0.72 for “supervision”’ 0.81 for “promotion opportunities” and 0.77 for co-workers reliability analyses (Brace et al., 2009). Reliability coefficients ranged from -.061 for management-by-exception (active) to .496 for idealized influence). The minimum acceptable reliability is .70 (Brace et al., 2009). Therefore, the AJDI was reliable for the sample. Reliability coefficients are presented in Table 2.

Table 2

Reliability Coefficients

Variables Mean Standard Deviation alpha Cronbach’s
The Work Itself 3.98 0.99 0.74
Remunerations/Pay 3.62 0.92 0.78
Supervision 3.67 1.02 0.72
Promotion 3.58 0.98 0.81
Co-Workers 2.59 1.1 0.77

Correlation Analysis

The correlations suggests that job satisfaction is associated with length of time as police officer (r=0.68), marital status (r=0.25), educational level (r=0.45), the work itself (r=0.43), renumeration/pay (r=0.30), supervision (r=0.43), promotion (r=0.22). Additionally, the analysis showed that co-workers had no correlation with the job satisfaction of the officers as presented in Table 3.

Table 3

Variable 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Length of Time
as Police Officer 0.68* 0.04 1
Marital Status -0.04 0.25* -0.05 -0.15
Educational Level 0.1 0.06 0.06 0.45* 1
The Work Itself 0.08 -0.08 0.08 0.43* 0.02 1
Renumeration 0.15 -0.04 0.03 0.30* 0.21* 1 1
Supervision 0.04 -0.14 0.15 0.15 0.1 0.34* 0.43* 1
Promotion 0.05 -0.05 0.22* 0.03 0.01 0.03 -0.1 0.03 1
Co-Workers -0.04 -0.04 -0.03 -0.05 -0.05 -0.5 -0.02 0.03 -0.02 1

Regression Analysis For Determinants Of Job Satisfaction

In other to find out the respective strengths of the determinants of job satisfaction between the dependent variable (job satisfaction) and the independent variables (the work itself, remunerations/pay, opportunities for promotion, supervision, and co-workers), a further analysis using regression was conducted. The results indicated that hypotheses 1-4 were accepted (p<0.05) while hypothesis 5 was rejected, explaining 70% of the variance. Out of the 5 determinants of job satisfaction, 4 factors (the work itself, remunerations/pay, opportunities for promotion, and supervision) were found to have significant positive correlation on job satisfaction while relationship with co-workers was found to have no relationship with job satisfaction. The results of the regression analysis are shown in Table 4.

Table 4.

Regression Analysis

Variables r2 f-stat * t-value p-value Hypothesis
0.705 65.18
The Work Itself 462** 6.568 0 H1 Accepted
Remuneration/Pay .183** 2.618 0.01 H2 Accepted
Supervision .154** 2.316 0.022 H3 Accepted
Promotion Opportunity .268** 4.102 0 H4 Accepted
Co-Workers -0.019 -0.604 547 H5 Rejected

Conclusion and Implications

The study investigated the impact of the five organizational factors (the work itself, remuneration/pay, supervision, promotion opportunities, and co-workers) as determinants of job satisfaction among police officers in Nigeria. A regression analysis employed in this study revealed that of the five predictors employed as determinants of jobsatisfaction, all but relationship with co-workers did not have a significant positive correlation with job satisfaction of the officers. Promotion opportunities, remuneration/pay, supervision, and the work itself had a significant positive relationship with the job satisfaction of the officers.

The job satisfaction of officers of the Nigeria Police can provide many benefits to the organization given the fact that public view of the force is at a dismal level. In order to satisfy the public, a complete and thorough understanding of the officers need is needed. To achieve this purpose, the police organization through the Police Service Commission must come up with incentives, programs, and education to improve the quality of life of its employees.

This study has implications for the Nigeria Police. The research contributes to the body of knowledge relating to the important predictors of job satisfaction. The findings in this research are consistent with the extant research that the five variables suggested by Abridged Job Descriptive Index (AJDI) are significantly related to employee job satisfaction. Additionally, the research contributes to the advancement of statistical research methods in the study of job satisfaction. Future research could employ a mixed method (quantitative and qualitative) research as determinants of job satisfaction among officers of the Nigeria police.